Janesville78.1°

UW-Rock to offer mental health counseling

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Stacy Vogel
October 23, 2008
— Many people remember college as the best years of their lives, but it also can be tough.

Mid-terms. Student loans. Cranky professors. Exposure to new philosophies and ways of life.


Not to mention everyday concerns such as the economy, relationships and jobs.


"Sometimes it's a little overwhelming," said Bill Hollingsworth, director of Janesville Psychiatric Clinic.


That's why UW-Rock County is contracting with the clinic to offer mental health services for students starting this week, said Steve Ullrick, assistant dean for student services.


"It's such a complicated world," Ullrick said. "We need as much help as we possibly can to help (students) be successful."


The University of Wisconsin system has been encouraging its campuses to offer student counseling since mass shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shook the country in the last two years, Ullrick said.


"With some of the events that have been happening on other campuses, we're thinking of preventative ways, or maybe proactive ways, to keep that from happening on our campuses," he said.


The thinking is, maybe if students can let off some steam and get professional help, it will stop them from hurting others or themselves.


Students already have seen the benefits of counseling this fall when the University of Wisconsin system sent counselors to the campus after the suicide of a UW-Whitewater student, said Jim Plasky, Student Government Association president. Several UW-Rock students had known the Whitewater student, who grew up in Beloit Township.


"A lot of students really like that, just to have the opportunity to talk to somebody about things like that," he said. "Students thought that they should have something like this on campus all the time."


UW-Rock approached student government last year to ask for funding for counseling, and the association agreed to contribute $8,000 for one year's worth of service.


Therapists will hold office hours at the school from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, Hollingsworth said. According to a pamphlet from the clinic, they'll offer counseling on:


-- Alcohol issues.


-- Anxiety and stress.


-- Eating problems.


-- Depression and grief.


-- Relationships and sexuality issues.


-- Time management, goal setting, motivation and concentration.


The clinic also will offer educational workshops for staff about spotting mental health warning signs and for students on issues such as drugs, alcohol and relationships, Ullrick said.


Students are eligible for up to six free counseling sessions, Ullrick said. After that, they will have to pay themselves or through insurance.


Students can make appointments or walk in during office hours. The counselors will have an office in the Student Services Center in Andrews Hall, Ullrick said.


"It's a really safe place," he said. "We didn't want to put them in an area where if students walk down that hallway, you know where they're going to be."


FOR HELP

UW-Rock County now offers up to six free counseling sessions to students through Janesville Psychiatric Clinic.


Therapists from the clinic will hold office hours from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays in the Student Services Center of Andrews Hall.


Call (608) 755-1475 for an appointment or walk in during office hours.


The clinic also offers two 24-hour crisis hotlines: (608) 921-1921 and (608) 921-8544.



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